A to Z of Web 2.0 for Social Change: K

K for Kiva.org:

From their Website:

Kiva.org (www.kiva.org) is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery, Kiva.org’s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in more than 70 countries with entrepreneurs in 42 developing countries, through 86 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.

How Kiva Works: Choose an Entrepreneur, Lend, Get Repaid

1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva’s microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur’s chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

Kiva’s Impact:

$25 million has been loaned through Kiva.org (500% increase over 12 months, 36% increase over last quarter), according to their press release on the 2nd of April 2008.
A loan is made on Kiva.org every 37 seconds, and their latest statistics show that the total value of loans is $49 million dollars.

In Lebanon, Al-Majmoua raised 717000$ through Kiva in 12 months. Click the image below to see more:

If you are starting a small business, you can apply for a loan through one of their local field partners.

How you can help?

Meet the Youngest and Oldest lenders 🙂

Aden, is less than a year old and has 21 loans registered in his profile!

Liane, celebrated her 100th birthday on December 20th, and she says: “I want others to know they should never stop giving.”

Do you have a story with Kiva?Do you plan to start using it?


  1. I am a lender on Kiva and I was happily surprised to see Lebanese people who had applied for loans (which I helped fund!). It also makes me want to go to their neighborhood and see if I can find them, but until now I haven’t had the time to do so, unfortunately.

    Of all the loans I have made, only one was not fully repayed – it was made to a woman in Kenya just before the unrest there, and I think she lost all her livelyhood including the cow she bought with the loan. Luckily, the system is such that you can loan small amounts to many people, and then when such a thing happens you only lose like $25 and the person who took the loan won’t be stuck forever with having to repay her debts.

    I really like the system, because it’s like donating the same money over and over again! And, to me it’s a nice way to see how so many people in the world are trying to improve their lives, and to actually put a face to those individuals. I recommend Kiva to everyone who has $25 to spare!

  2. Hi, Nicole,
    Thanks so much for posting on our blog and sharing your experience with Kiva. We’ll be talking more about the work Al-Majmoua is doing in a upcoming video. Meanwhile, I wonder if you’d like to stop by for our social hour on October 15 around 6:30 for Blog Action Day to end global poverty. Details can be found on our blog or here: http://blogactionday.org/

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